Dock worker Sean Conway has been crowned WA's best comedian after taking out top position in the Raw Comedy State final on Saturday night.
Despite failing to win his heat, Conway impressed the judges sufficiently to be asked to compete in the semi-finals. He went on to beat 11 other finalists, including 92.9 radio breakfast host Lisa Fernandez.
The 27-year-old from Willagee, who describes his comedic style as "angry and self-deprecating", won over the judges to secure his place in the national final, which will be held during the Melbourne Comedy Festival next month.
"There's still a bit of disbelief," he said. "I'm still trying to get my head around it."
Conway caught the comedy bug about a year ago and has been plying his routines in Perth pubs to hone his act. He admitted his attraction to comedy was the fear of performing.
"It's a big rush when you do really well and horrible when you do badly," he said. "The thought of failure is a fairly good motivator."
His major preparation was a gig in his work lunchroom at 1am, which he said was "more nerve-racking" than the final. "It was because I was performing in front of my mates for the first time, but they all loved it and I thought, 'nothing's going to be harder than this'," he said.
Successful former Perth comedian and MC for the night Joel Creasey was impressed by Conway's abilities. "Sean's comedy was great; when he started I thought 'I've heard this before' but with each joke he took it in a different direction," he said.